YouTube star PewDiePie used the “n-word” while playing a video game during a live broadcast, using it as an insult against a fellow player. He followed the use of the racist slur with the statement: “I don’t mean it in a bad way.”
The 27 year old YouTuber, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, has already been forced to defend himself against anti-semitism claims, and was suspended from Twitter in 2016 for joking that he and a fellow YouTuber had joined the terror organisation ISIS.
His influence over both platforms is large: Kjellberg has amassed a following of over 57 million subscribers on YouTube, with another 12 million followers on Twitter. As of 2016, he is the highest paid YouTuber, having earned £11.8 million through the platform over the course of the year. However, anti-semitism claims have already resulted in his being dropped by Disney, and in the cancellation of the YouTube series ‘Scare PewDiePie 2’.
In response to this latest controversy, Campo Santo’s Sean Vanaman has tweeted that he intends to file DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) against the star. Vanaman, whose studio develops the game Firewatch, will be attempting to remove all streams and videos of PewDiePie playing his company’s content “and any future Campo Santo games”, and has urged other studios to join him.
In the past, Kjellberg has admitted the offence of his actions, while claiming his lack of support for “any kind of hateful attitudes”. He has called the accusations of anti-semitism “insane” and “unfair”, but has not yet publicly responded to the backlash following his use of racially-charged language in his live stream.